North tipped as job hotspot

Pilbara News - - News - Ben Leahy

The Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara could be­come the next hotspot for new agri­cul­tural jobs in Western Aus­tralia, a Curtin Univer­sity study has found.

The Curtin Eco­nom­ics Cen­tre study, ti­tled From iPad­dock to Plate: WA’s po­ten­tial in agri­cul­ture and agribusi­ness, found WA was well placed to cap­i­talise on Asia’s grow­ing de­mand for high qual­ity and safe food.

It es­ti­mated Aus­tralian beef ex­ports to China alone could in­crease from $1 bil­lion to $4.5 bil­lion by 2030.

Bankwest Curtin Eco­nom­ics Cen­tre di­rec­tor Pro­fes­sor Alan Dun­can said the State’s South West had been the lead­ing cre­ator of new agri­cul­tural jobs since 2012.

He said 2.9 per cent of the South West work­force were em­ployed in agri­cul­ture in 2012, a fig­ure that had risen to 11.5 per cent by May this year.

How­ever, re­cent large-scale in­vest­ments in Kim­ber­ley and Pil­bara cat­tle sta­tions meant in the fu­ture the North West could be­come a new job hotspot.

The re­port comes as Sin­ga­porean busi­ness­man Bruce Che­ung’s pur­chase of the Pil­bara’s Par­doo Sta­tion and in­creas­ing in­vest­ments into beef pro­duc­tion by min­ing mag­nates Gina Rine­hart and An­drew For­rest are among re­cent high-pro­file boosts to the North West’s in­dus­try.

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